6 JUNE 1988.

Present were Parish Councillors B Chubb, J Davis G Lee, P  Rooke, 
D  Turner & D Yelland who was in the Chair. About 80  members  of 
the public attended.

Mr Yelland opened the meeting with the comment that although  the 
Parish  Council had not yet received official  notification  from 
Mendip District Council on the forthcoming application by  Wimpey 
Hobbs  to increase quarrying at Halecombe this meeting  had  been 
convened to  permit those on the Electoral Roll of the  Parish  to 
make their feelings on the application known to the  Councillors. 
Any vote would be restricted to members of the Parish but was not 
legally  binding  on the Parish Councillors.   Including  himself 
three of the seven Councillors worked for quarrying companies and 
therefore Mr Davis would have the casting vote as  Chairman if it 
was deemed necessary.

He  welcomed  Richard Evans, Somerset County Council's  Minerals 
Officer who was attending as an advisor and four  representatives 
of  Wimpey Hobbs:  Mr A Carrington, Planning &  Estates  Manager; 
Ann Dugdale, from the Planning & Development Department of Wimpey 
Hobbs Ltd based at Nailsea; Mr P Aynsley, Mendip Area  Production 
Manager and Mr K Grazier, Wessex Area Manager.

The Chairman read extracts form the submission outlining Somerset 
County Council's present quarrying policy.

From the submission the Chairman outlined the existing permission 
for  quarrying  at Halecombe.  The following points  were  raised 
from  the  floor:-
(i) Could permission to quarry the area be totally recinded:   Mr 
Evans  explained  this  could  only be done  on  the  payment  of 
compensation to the Company.
(ii)   Could  a "trade off" of quarrying  rights  be  negotiated:  
This would be up to the County Council.
(iii) Was permission to quarry still extant for Barns Close:   It 
was thought so.
Conclusions:  SCC's Policy and the possibility of a  'trade  off' 
&  perhaps recinding existing permission ought to be discussed at 
the meeting of 16 June.

From the submission the Chairman read a summary that stated that 
the  emmission of noise had been, where practicable  reduced  or 
eradicated  but  noise  was subject  to  weather  conditions  and 
changes in the level of background noise.
(i)  The question of single shifting of the Primary  Crusher  had 
been considered by the Company who felt that this, plus screening 
and environmental banking would cause noise to decrease. 
(ii)  A questioner expressed concern that the 'remote' plant area 
was  actually nearer to the village.  Mr Grazier  explained  that 
'remote'  refered to its distance from quarrying  operations.  He 
agreed  that the site area chosen was not as valuable for  mining 
(iii) When questioned as to how long before new shifting could be 
introduced  Mr Grazier stated that there would be an  approximate 
18 month time lag between digging out the new area and the siting 
of  the new plant during which the present Primary Crusher  would 
have  to be operated on a two shift system. 
(iv)  Third Party noise from lorries transporting the  stone  was 
discussed - it was agreed that it was difficult to control.  
CONCLUSIONS:  Although shift times would alter nothing  could  be 
done  about transportation movement noise.  The new site was  not 
'remote'  in  physical terms.  There would still be  some  double 
shift working of the face & Primary Crusher for a time.

It  was explained by the Chairman that this was contained  in  an 
addendum  to  the submission.  Noise from  blasting came  in  the 
form  of  Vibration  and  Air Over  Pressure.  
(i)  Wimpey Hobbs had  commissioned a Vibration  Survey  and  the 
consultants  recommendation  was  12.7 mm per  second,  was  this 
acceptable?  Mr Evans stated that the County Council used a level 
of 9 in other applications.  Mr Yelland drew attention to a major 
fault through the site which could affect vibrations.
(ii)  Concern was expressed on the accumulative long term  effect 
of  blasting on older properties. No known studies had been  done 
on this.  
(iii) The Company suggested an Air Over pressure of 128 decibels, 
was this acceptable?  Mr Evans stated that SCC limit was 120 db.
(iv)  Questions were asked as to how far from the blast this  was 
measured,  was it the closest people could physically get to  the 
blast?   Mr  Evans stated it was measured at the  nearest  house.
(v)  Attention was drawn to the danger to a passing walker,  this 
the  Company  recognised  and they planned to  close  the  Public 
Footpath  at blasting times.  It was agreed that the quarry  only 
had a duty to advise the public of any danger.
(v)  Under the existing permission the Company is meant to  check 
with  the  Local  Met  office before  blasting  and  postpone  if 
necessary,  how often had this been done in the last year?   Only 
occasionally  although the Company had a regular line to the  met 
(vi)   The  possibility of allowing parishioners  to  witness   a 
blast were mooted.  The Company will consider this.
CONCLUSION:   A 12.7 peak particle velocity was considered  high. 
128  decibel Air Over Pressuer was high.  Figures do not  mean  a 
lot therefore a demonstration  would be welcome.  Limits  imposed 
under any new Planning Permission would apply to the whole  area. 
Should  readings be taken at the nearest point the  public  could 
stand rather than at nearest residence.

The  Chairman explained that there was nothing in the  submission 
about  this  except for the comment that it was thought  the  new 
plant would be more efficient.  On behalf of Wimpey Hobbs it  was 
stated  that  the problem of dust was recognised, each  piece  of 
equipment   had  an  extractor  and  emmissions  were   regularly 
monitored  -  the  quarry  now had a  clean  bill  of  health.
(i)  A questioner pointed out that the main dust seemed  to  come 
from  lorries leaving the site & concern was expressed  that  the 
new  access  and egress sited nearer the village on a  well  used 
road  would cause more problems.  A Company spokesman  said  that 
all  equipment  which could cause dust would be lowered  and  the 
long  haul road, protected by an environmental bank would  assist 
in this.
(ii)   It  was questioned whether a condition could  be  imposed 
that all lorries leaving the area be sheeted & have their  wheels 
washed  -  a   quarry  spokesman  said  that  under  an  existing 
voluntary  code all lorries at present leaving the site ought  to 
be sheeted.
Wimpey  Hobbs  stated that they were willing  to  have  mandatory 
sheeting made a condition of the Planning Permission.
CONCLUSION:   A majority of those present felt that dust  control 
was not adequate particularly at the access point and ought to  be 
covered  by the Submission.  Positioning of the new  plant  might 
make  the village more prone to dust.   Mandatory lorry  sheeting 
ought  perhaps  to  be included if permission is  given  for  the 
planned expansion.  

From  the  Submission the Chairman stated that the  Company  felt 
that  run off would  be more controlable.   A  Company  spokesman 
said  the  present system was difficult to control  but  the  new 
plant location, remote from the stream, would alter this.  It was 
agreed  that as the Water Authority was a consultative body  this 
item would be left.  Mr Evans pointed out that for Phase 4 to  be 
granted  records of one year's  observations of the  water  table  
were needed & these were not yet available.
CONCLUSION: Matter will be left to the experts.

(i) The question was raised as to whether the plant would be  new 
or  reconditioned.   The  Company  said that  there  would  be  a 
(ii)  The large size of the plant area was commented on & concern 
expressed  that  other  industry  might  be  introduced  to  take 
advantage of this.  The Company spokesman said that the area  was 
to  store  aggregate  as well as produce it,  no  plans  for  the 
introduction of other industry were known.
(iii)   Concern was expressed that output would be increased  but 
the  Company said that the application stated  that  it  was  not 
relative  to an increase in production. However they agreed  that 
it could go up by about 10% per year.
(iv)  Concern was expressed from the floor that a deal  would  be 
made  between the Quarry and the CC concerning the  Bull's  Green 
Link but it was agreed that as this was not in the submission  it 
should not be discussed.
CONCLUSIONS:   More information was needed on Access proposals, a 
better  explanation of views of the plant area from  the  village 

were  sought and it was felt that the new plant location  was  in 
the best interest of the Quarry Company not necessarily the village.

From  the submission it was stated by the Company that  they  had 
tried to identify principal view points from the surrounding area 
and  construct  banks  accordingly of varying  heights.
(i)  It was pointed out from the floor that only one of the sight 
line  plans was taken from where someone lived &  suggested  that 
sight-lines from Tadhill, Leigh Street etc ought to be given.  It 
was agreed that both the County & Parish Councils were not  happy 
with this part of the plan. 
(ii)  A Parishioner pointed out that from 'Green Shutters'  there 
will be an open view of the Quarry, a Company spokesman said that 
this view was screened by trees at present but agreed that  these 
were not on land owned by Wimpey Hobbs.   
CONCLUSIONS: It was felt by all present that more information was 
needed on this matter.

In  the  submission  the Chairman stated  that  the  Company  had 
elected  for  clump  planting of a number of  species  and  would 
institute  a  programme  of weed control to  maintain  this.  Its 
philosophy was to achieve restricted views into the quarry and to 
make   the   bund   appear  natural.
(i)  The question of a 3D topographical computer view was  raised 
but Mr Evans pointed out that even this had limitations.
CONCLUSIONS:  More detailed information required.

From  the submission the Chaiman stated that a circular  footpath 
with  viewing points & picnic sites on top of  the  environmental 
banking  was  proposed.
(i)  Concern was expressed that this might encourage children  to 
play  in  the quarry but it was explained that a  security  fence 
inside the area would prevent this.
(ii)   The  idea  that the concept of  a  circular  footpath  was 
artificial was raised.
CONCLUSIONS:  Concern about danger to users of this facility.

A Parishioner questioned at this stage as to whether a vote would 
be  taken  on  how  the village  should  react  to  the  planning 
application.   The Chairman replied that there would be no   vote 
taken  as  not enough information was available  explaining  once 
again  that any vote was not legally binding on  Councillors.  He 
apologised  for  the length of the meeting saying  that  he  felt 
matters  were  too important to curtail at this  stage  and  gave 
parishioners an opportunity to leave the hall due to the advanced 
hour, at this a number left.
According  to the Submission existing site access will  disappear 
within  ten years & a new one will be instituted.
(i)   Mr  Evans said that the CC felt that the access  shown  was 
unacceptable as it precluded lorries turning right.  The  Company 
agreed  that this was a matter for discussion with the  authority 
to  allow it to tie in with future road plans.
(ii)  The new access as shown on the plan was unanimously felt by 
Parishioners  to be unsuitable and a majority were in  favour  of 
retaining the present access.  There was also support for  access 
at  Park Corner although it was appreciated that the site of  the 
County  Council's  gravel storage area was not  owned  by  Wimpey 
(iii)  The question of the life expectancy of the quarry if  they 
failed  to get this planning permission was asked.  Wimpey  Hobbs 
stated  that  they  could, with  prudence,  continue  mining  for 
another  10  years  without going lower  but  demand  alters  and 
capital investment must be considered over the long term.
(iv)    Concern  was  expressed  from  the  floor  that  if   the 
permission  was  not  granted ARC might buy  the  quarry  but  Mr 
Yelland  pointed  out  that the purpose of  the  meeting  was  to 
consider the 'hole in the ground' not other factors.
CONCLUSIONS:  New access unacceptable on site shown. 

In final conclusion an indication was requested from the floor as 
to who would still object to the new plans for the quarry even if 
all  the items discussed during the evening were included in  any 
final  application -  A majority signified that they would  still 
be against the plan but no count was made.

The Meeting concluded at 2345 h approx.



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